Arizona State Plays Complete Game Against Quinnipiac, Wins 3-2 In 2OT
By Seth Askelson // NCAA Hockey Beat Writer for Blaze Sports
TEMPE, Ariz — The season for the Arizona State men’s hockey program could be described as one of bad fortune in tight games. The Sun Devils found themselves in that position again on Friday night.
Despite having the 2-1 lead heading into the third period, the Sun Devils had to settle for a tie in the series opener against the Quinnipiac Bobcats after the visitors scored the equalizer on the power play at the 7:11 mark of the third period.
While the game will officially count as a tie in the team’s records the Devils picked up some morale and momentum. There was a second overtime period played, this time 3-on-3 hockey, and Arizona State found the winner in the frame.
Louie Rowe ripped home a shot from the slot area in the second overtime, and it was a goal the Sun Devils can feel good about.
“I think we would’ve liked to win in regulation, but it was one of those things that we fought to the end and I think we earned a win in our books tonight,” Rowe said.
Though Arizona State found a way to score on the power play, it was a rough night for the unit. ASU allowed the first goal of the game while up a man, and Johnny Walker’s goal was one that, according to head coach Greg Powers, was one that was more credited to an individual effort than a structured unit.
Powers said the mistakes on the power play are a result of “carelessness” and “not competing”. Arizona State surrendered multiple breakaways while a man up last Friday to UMASS-Lowell, and this week it caught up to them when Kevin Duane opened the scoring at 2:23 of the second.
“Just because you have an extra guy doesn’t mean you can let up,” Powers said. “You have to compete harder than their kill, and we didn’t tonight.”
The Sun Devils battled back and eventually took the lead three seconds prior to the second intermission thanks to Steenn Pasichnuk’s first of the season. He took a pass from his brother Brinson and sent it past Bobcat goaltender Keith Petruzzelli to take the 2-1 lead into the final 20 minutes.
Steenn has dealt with an injury and has only appeared in 12 games this season. The goal was his first point in six games, and it was one to remember.
“The back injury set me back a little bit and there was some stuff off the ice we were kind of going through,” Pasichnuk said. “My game last weekend felt good. But it feels even better to come back tonight and score a goal and just help the team win. [The goal] felt good coming from my little brother. It looks like he’s looking out for me.”
The series finale will be played at Gila River Arena in Glendale tomorrow night. It will be a different environment for both clubs, as Oceanside is known for its compact crowds and low ceilings. Those quirks can work in the Sun Devils’ favor, and they like to use it as a positive rather than a negative.
“We like crowding big teams into our little barn and making them feel the Sun Devil tradition,” Rowe said.
Puck drop for tomorrow’s game is scheduled for 7:05pm MST.
Seth Askelson is a beat writer for ASU NCAA Hockey. Reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to follow Seth on Twitter @saskelson96